Social entrepreneurship is an innovative process that responds to market failures through the use of transformations so as to provide solutions to social problems. By use of transformations so as to provide solutions to social problems.
This paper focuses on Buffalo Reuse as one of the endeavors in America towards social entrepreneurship. The founder of this particular organization can be said to be a social entrepreneur because he is someone who looked carefully around society and managed to see clearly that there existed a social problem.
Michael Geiger then came up with ideas that eventually found workable solutions to the problems he identified. (Charles, 1996) This is why he can be classified alongside other social entrepreneurs in America. This is a large organization by virtue of its membership, which spans 200 organizations, individuals, and local businesses that are independent.
This organization can be said to have achieved social entrepreneurship because of a number of reasons. Buffalo ReUse identified the social problem created by the demolition of old houses within the neighborhood. This was creating a material pile up in landfills and was associated with environmental problems.
They, therefore, came up with ideas for removing the materials from the old homes bit by bit and reselling them in their store at a lesser cost back to the community. Besides creating cost-effective resources, they have also created employment opportunities for youths who suffer most because of unemployment.
The organization has further extended to provide education ad training for the youths and other community members for participating in activities of the organization. First of all, from a resource point of view, this project is at the forefront in the advocacy of maximum utilization of available resources. So many resources are put on buildings when they are still in the construction process.
Preventing the wasteful destruction and disposing of them in landfills in something that Michael Gainer could not just put up with. He, therefore, thought that this was an unacceptable situation; hence, he came up with his ideas on preventing waste from the demolition of buildings.
By, therefore, looking for a way in which the resources in the buildings can be better utilized is itself social entrepreneurship. All the efforts put in this project were aimed at creating social change in the Buffalo region. One can talk about innovativeness in the Reuse project because it has been noted to be advocating for the needs of the people and also utilizing a cost-effective strategy towards the issue of deconstruction in the Buffalo region.
They thought that having an idea to put across was not sufficient because, in the region, the best ideas had been killed by the people he was gearing myself to understand. The project has employed methods and techniques that allow the dissemination of houses more quickly and without any kind of injury. (Joanna, Jeffrey, and Kai 2006)
Another important thing Michael Geiger has achieved concerns about the empowerment of the community. He believed that it is important that the local people have a feeling of empowerment through the Buffalo Reuse projects.
This has come in the form of new ideas and the freedom to choose what is best for their locality. Financially the people have also been empowered since the ideas of establishing Buffalo Re-Use projects created job opportunities for the people.
Other than just working for the organization, most people have a feeling that the organization is indeed an inspiration to them, and their time is not wasted because they contribute significantly towards the success of the organization. The services offered by Geiger are not only cost-effective to the city of Buffalo but also to the community around.
This shows that the organization is not just out to make only profits but also exercise social responsibility while in the course of its existence in the Buffalo region. The techniques that are employed by the organization are also of concern. This is because the organization utilizes techniques that can quickly disassemble structures while observing the required security standards.
This is quite essential because without observing security, demolitions can pose a threat to the people. While in the course of demolition, important quantities of reusable materials are collected from the various sites. This prevents the unnecessary disposal of materials that can be utilized elsewhere. Buffalo ReUse, as an organization, has also been involved in job training activities, especially for the youths.
This is important because it has gone far in equipping the youths with adequate skills that are not only necessary for the job but also for life coping and empowerment. Buffalo ReUse’s organization has also advocated for the development of other community assets within the locality. This includes things like parks and community gardens.
This is not only for leisure and recreation. Such activities are vital for community environmental conservation and restoration. They are also for the idea of creating small retail stores that would sell low-cost products for the community members so as to help them restore their neighborhoods and prevent things like hazards.
All these activities are for the purpose of giving back to the community and the overall wellbeing of the society. Buffalo ReUse’s organization came up with a stable neighborhood program. This was a major step towards preventing environmental degradation within the community.
This has been achieved through the construction of sustainable homes that are sensitive to energy use and other factors that are useful for sustainable development in the Buffalo region. This organization has been involving the youths in all its activities since its establishment.
The fact that the organization has allowed the participation of the youths means that the organization is helping the youths to find solutions to social problems within their neighborhood. This, in itself, is social entrepreneurship. Besides finding solutions to their social problems, this organization has also helped the youths to earn some income through the activities.
Therefore the organization has, to some extent, increased the income amongst the youths and other income groups within the region. These are all important aspects of social entrepreneurship. Buffalo ReUse’s organization has been associated with the generation of new economic activity through its programs.
This has even been supported by organizations such as the Empire state development in its great endeavor. This clearly depicts how society values Buffalo Re-Use as an organization that is worthy and therefore deserves the support of every person who has goodwill for the community.
Buffalo ReUse organization, apart from engaging in deconstruction activities of run-down buildings, has been involved in community education activities. The organization has for sometime organized events in which members of the community have a chance of getting informed about environmental issues and other vital topics. This is all geared towards the empowerment of the community.
The organization has also offered opportunities for activities such as tree planting.
This is a good endeavor because the community comes out to support such initiatives by the organization. This is achieved in collaboration with other important associations.
This has altogether been done alongside the need for creating new assets to benefit society.
Activities such as tree planting are very much needed because these resources have been very much exploited, and they are on the decline. Therefore helping the community to restore such resources can be considered to be social entrepreneurship by Buffalo ReUse organization.
This has been proved by the successful activities done by the organization and the awards the organization has been given for the tremendous work it is doing. Basing on the nominations it has received in the past; Buffalo Re-Use will remain a model to other organizations for its efforts towards a waste reduction in landfills, provision of jobs for the local people, and making the neighborhoods greener.
The fact that the materials got from the old homes are resold back to the community at a less costly price is a demonstration that Gainer and his team are conscious about the inequalities that characterize the community. This comes in different dimensions, for instance, the low-income earners and the high-income earners.
The deconstruction materials can accommodate both the two groups. The best group that benefits most from the materials is the average and low-income earners.Therefore Buffalo Re-Use can be considered to be catering to the needs of everybody in the community.
Buffalo ReUse has helped the youth so much and far beyond the employment opportunities where youths are used for the collection of resources or materials from old structures; they also benefit in the sense that the organization helps them to find worthiness in themselves.In fact it is like an investment they have made for themselves plus their future generations.
The fact that the youths are doing something for themselves and for the entire commonality one can argue that Buffalo ReUse has enabled them to find the important sense of worth in themselves and where they come from. Most of the youths who work for the organization must be feeling proud of themselves for what they are and what they have achieved for the community.
This is what other organizations ought to borrow a leaf from for the mutual benefit of both parties in the course of service provision to the community. In conclusion, it is important to note that the society needs to create avenues for nurturing such brilliant ideas as those of Michael Gainer, someone who stands out amongst many for what his ideas have done for the community.
Other organizations that are seeking to achieve both social responsibility and entrepreneurship have to follow the footsteps of Michael Gainer by addressing other important social problems that remain unresolved despite the fact that brains are their plus many resources that can be put into maximum use.
Things like renewable energy sources can capture the efforts of the youths, and besides getting them employment, they can be vital for revitalizing the community.
Joanna Mair, Jeffrey Robinson, and Kai Hockerts, Social Entrepreneurship, Palgrave, 2006
Peredo, A. M., & McLean, M. 2006. Social Entrepreneurship: A Critical Review of the Concept. Journal of World Business, 41(1): 56-65.
David Bornstein, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Oxford University Press
Charles Leadbeater, The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur, Demos, 1996